Employment Claims

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Is your business defending an employment claim or tribunal?

Defending an employment claim and/or having to attend a tribunal … it’s one of those issues most business owners hope to avoid but the realities of having employees, is you might have to defend a future claim.

First thing to consider is that most employers who find themselves in a tribunal, don’t struggle because the decision they made with a  particular employee was wrong or not based around justifiable cause, most employers suffer because they failed to follow correct process.

That’s why good preparation and employee management procedures are absolutely key to minimizing the risk of suffering loss in a tribunal.

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What to be aware of when defending a claim in the employment tribunal?

Defending a claim will often come down to a commercial decision about strength of case, risk of losing, time/emotion required to defend it.  An experienced employment lawyer, who has handled a large volume of similar cases can provide insight to the following;

  • Did you follow correct procedure
  • Prospects of success
  • Potential costs
  • Management time required to defend a claim
  • Commercial reality (and benefit) of trying to settle a case asap

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Further Information

Hopefully you’re able to head off any such claim at the pass … good process, robust defense, finding some common ground.

What you want to avoid is getting drawn into any emotional aspects of claims from individuals who until recently, were colleagues.    Employment claims are often bedeviled and extended by the emotional and personal elements involved.

Move these aside and consider the following steps that may assist how you defend the claim;

1)      Get evidence in order asap

As soon as any claim hits your desk, gather all the information and evidence you have.  Indeed, if you feel a claim is brewing, conduct some preparation in advance.

2)      Get witness accounts

Anyone named in the claim needs to be spoken with asap and get everything in writing, signed by the individuals involved.

3)      Get advice

Some employers feel able to defend the cases themselves, but sometimes the expertise and detachment of legal experts delivers considerable value.   It’s certainly worth getting some early legal advice on your position, even if you decide to run the defense yourself.

4)      Don’t be stubborn … look to settle

Even if it means biting your tongue and accepting a settlement that irks … you need to make a cold headed commercial decision on the potential cost, loss and time required to defend the claim.  Different cases will have different strengths but don’t underestimate how distracting it will be to defend.

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